Message from the Principal

Congratulations to all our musicians!  I have thoroughly enjoyed two weeks of entertainment, first with our school concerts, and then last week the KBB festival.  And haven’t we done well!  I want to acknowledge the outstanding leadership of Dr Garner.  Her passion and vision for our music is exceptional, and we can all see the results.

As part of our ongoing journey we continually reflect and strive to improve on what we do.  This year we add into that process our membership of the Inspired Education Group.  What we currently do aligns well with the Inspired vision.  In the next few newsletters we hope to inform you of some additions and minor tweaks to our programme for 2020.

As some of you are aware we have had a recent addition to the PE department; Miss Morgan Page is a PE teacher with a specialisation in dance.  As an Inspired school, dance is a valued addition to the PE curriculum.  To this end during term 4 we will be asking students to complete option forms to ascertain their interest in a PE programme that includes a dance aspect or not.  We are excited about this development which will include extending dance into the primary school.

Another component of an Inspired school that we are pleased to tell you about is the introduction of cyclic testing for years 7 to 10.  We see this as a natural development of our pre-planned assessment programmes within subjects.  What makes the cyclic testing different is that we will be embedding a testing period within the school week.  Individual subjects will be timetabled for specific weeks.  A major benefit of this approach relates to student wellbeing and workload in that it removes bottlenecks of tests.

Speech and drama will have an increased presence as they now become a course in their own right in Years 7-10.  It is important that all our students develop skills in this area in order to be able to “present” themselves with confidence.

This week marks the start of the business end of the academic year for our senior students.  Our school exams are underway, and these will provide critical information for the run into the Cambridge Exams.  This can be a stressful period for teenagers, so allow me to put my dad hat on and remind ourselves that as parents we need to ride shotgun for our children.  This is the time to make sure they are sleeping well and eating well, and that everything is in balance.  Laughter, calm households, regular exercise…. I am sure you know the drill.  Most importantly, exam feedback is about next steps….not pass or fail.  Have you got the exam and revision timetables on the fridge?  Some students, often our boys, need a lot of hands-on structure and supervision in order to meet their potential.


Russell Brooke
ACG Parnell College

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